I am a huge fan of buying local (although I could be a lot better at it). This film makes an interesting argument that buying local is not only good for the environment and the local economy, but also connects us back to our spiritual sense of community.
Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work.
The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, an unholy alliance of governments and big business continues to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, people all over the world are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.
I have seen this same community/spirituality argument proposed as well with farmers in Hawaii trying to preserve traditional knowledge of taro planting, as well as other indigenous groups in South and Central America, and all over the world, so it is interesting to see this documentary maker make the argument on a larger scale, saying it can benefit all of us. I tend to agree.
I also like the idea of “grandmother universities,” which fit in well with the current trend of DIYers.